Regulatory Capture and NP-Completeness

A common conversation in our household:

S: “So, why do you think happens?”
Me: “Regulatory Capture.”
S: “Oh. Right. :(”

I like to sort this with my general wont to cut Gordian knots*, but perhaps it is also useful because it allows you to reduce the problem under discussion to a well-known problem, which is known to be insoluble in very specific ways.

Perhaps we will find that the solution to the P=?NP problem is the same as the problem of regulatory capture**. I think it’s more likely that P=?NP will be solved first.

*Or to be a troll.

**Regulatory capture I think was first described for me in ‘Yes, Prime Minister’, as the inevitable co-option of the body which regulates an industry by the industry which it regulates. This is generally because they talk to each other the most, combined with the huge financial incentives.

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